UPDATE: 3:30 PM: A USDA spokesperson tells CHS that the coyote has been killed. “I understand that the ill coyote has been found and removed. No additional information is available at this time.” the brief statement reads. We were told the agent searching for the coyote was not on the Hill this afternoon but have not confirmed details of what agency was ultimately responsible for ending the hunt and killing the coyote believed to be suffering from mange. We’ll see what more we can find out and update when we learn more.
Original Report: It seems the federal hunt for a coyote showing signs of a deadly illness spotted in Volunteer Park continues after an unsuccessful night of searching for the animal.
Thursday night around 7 PM, CHS heard from a resident of the Washington Park area near 33rd and Madison that the coyote was in front of her house and looking very tired and ill. The resident called the East Precinct to report the animal. “East precinct watch commander put us in touch with the USDA officer looking for the sick coyote. They are coming over here now to look for him. It’s so sad, he’s very sick,” she wrote.
The contact information for the East Precinct watch commander is the best clearing space for information about the coyote that we currently have to give out. You can reach the commander at (206) 684-4318. Here is the number for the US Department of Agriculture biologist hunting the coyote — 425-954-6766. You’ll be asked to leave a voicemail with time and location information. He’s successfully tracked and killed coyotes that were deemed sick or danger to humans around the region, according to various media reports.
Sightings have also come into CHS via comments and emails but they’re difficult to verify — all that we’ve checked out have turned up coyote-less.
Seattle Parks tells us that the search has turned up a healthy family of coyotes living near Volunteer Park — a good sign for the local ecology. “It’s great that a family of coyotes is making a good living in the area. They keep the rat and rabbit populations in check,” a Parks spokesperson tells CHS.
The US Department of Agriculture is in charge of tracking the sick coyote down and killing it. The animal shows signs of mange which is causing its fur to fall out and causing weakness. The coyote could be aggressive toward humans and pets — especially given its weakened state — so use caution if you encounter it.
Even in its weakened state, this coyote covers some ground with sightings reported between Volunteer Park and the Arboretum from day to day and hour to hour.
Despite many daytime sightings, Parks tells us the USDA hunter is planned to work the area after 10 PM.
UPDATE: A Capitol Hill resident shares this picture taken this morning in the alley between 17th and 18th around the 700 block.